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John Winthrop Edit Profile

governor , Lawyer

John Winthrop was a wealthy English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in New England after Plymouth Colony. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England colonial development, influencing the government and religion of neighboring colonies.


Winthrop was first tutored at home, and then probably went to a grammar school, although there are no records indicating this.

He did not graduate from the college.


John followed his father in practicing law in London, which would have brought him into contact with the city's business elite.He was also appointed to the county commission of the peace, a position that gave him a wider exposure among other lawyers and landowners, and a platform to advance what he saw as God's kingdom.

In 1634-1635 he was a leader in putting the colony in a state of defense against possible coercion by the English government. He opposed the majority of his fellow-townsmen in the so-called "Antinomian controversy" of 1636-1637, taking a strongly conservative attitude towards the questions in dispute.


  • He was the first president of the Commissioners of the United Colonies of New England, organized in 1643. He defended Massachusetts against threatened parliamentary interference once more in 1645-1646.

  • Winthrop's major contributions to the literary world were A Modell of Christian Charity (1630) and The History of New England (1630–1649) ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE `description` = VALUES(`description`); also known as The Journal of John Winthrop, which remained unpublished until the late 18th century.


  • journal

    • Experiencia

  • publication

    • The Humble Request of His Majesties Loyal Subjects

  • story

    • A Short Story of the rise, reign, and ruine of the Antinomians, Familists and Libertines, that Infected the Churches of New England


Winthrop documented his religious life, keeping a journal beginning 1605 in which he described his religious experiences and feelings.


On the 26th of August 1629 he joined in the "Cambridge Agreement", by which he, and his associates, pledged themselves to remove to New England, provided the government and patent of the Massachusetts colony should be removed thither.


Adam Winthrop - United Kingdom - landowner , Lawyer

Winthrop’s father was a newly risen country gentleman whose 500-acre (200-hectare) estate, Groton Manor, had been bought from Henry VIII at the time of the Reformation.His father's family had been successful in the textile business. When Winthrop was young his father became a director at Trinity College, Cambridge.

Anne (Browne) Winthrop

His mother's family was also well-to-do, with properties in Suffolk and Essex.

John Winthrop the Younger - United States - Magistrate , Governer
John Winthrop the Younger - son of John Winthrop

Winthrop's son, John, was one of the founders of the Connecticut Colony.

1-st wife:
Mary Forth - United Kingdom

Winthrop and Mary were married on 16 April 1605 at Great Stambridge. Mary bore him five children, of whom only three survived to adulthood. The oldest of their children was John Winthrop, the Younger, became a governor and magistrate of Connecticut. Their last two children, two girls, died not long after birth, and Mary died in 1615 from complications of the last birth.

2-nd wife:
Thomasine Clopton - United Kingdom

On 6 December 1615 Winthrop married for the second time. Thomasine died on 8 December 1616 from complications of childbirth; the child also did not survive.

3-rd wife:
Margaret Tyndal - United Kingdom

Margaret Tyndal, the daughter of a chancery judge. Her family was initially opposed to the match on financial grounds; Winthrop countered by appealing to piety as a virtue that more than compensated for his modest income. The couple were married on 29 April 1618 at Great Maplestead.

4th wife:
Martha Coytmore

John Cotton - United Kingdom - Clergyman
John Cotton - friend of John Winthrop

John Wheelwright - United Kingdom - Clergyman
John Wheelwright - friend of John Winthrop